Orange’s Stacie Bourbeau captures her 2nd U.S. Amateur Pool Championship

  • Stacie Bourbeau competes at the 2022 Womens U.S. Amateur pool championship in Tampa Bay, Fla. in February. Bourbeau went on to win the tournament, her second national title. Contributed Image

Staff Writer
Published: 3/8/2022 2:31:54 PM

Add another amateur championship to the trophy case for Stacie Bourbeau.

The Orange resident went down to Tampa Bay, Fla., in February for the American Pool Association’s Amateur Championship and walked away the winner in the 46-woman tournament. 

She also won the tournament in 2015, making her a two-time champion. 

“This one felt a lot better than the first because the field gets tougher and tougher every year,” Bourbeau said. “There were some really good players in this field. There were four former winners, one who was the reigning champ ... just great competition.” 

Despite the stiff competition, Bourbeau proved to be the best of the bunch. She defeated a former three-time champion via a 5-1 score and topped the tournament’s reigning champion, 5-2, to send them into the loser’s bracket. 

In the finals against Rachel Lang of Catskill, N.Y., she scored a 9-4 win to secure the title. She felt her experience in the tournament was the difference in the match. Bourbeau said she once went against the No. 1 ranked player in the world hoping simply not to get blanked, and almost won. She’s continued to carry that attitude into other major matches.

“I felt like my opponent didn’t have the experience I had,” Bourbeau said. “She’s young so she hasn’t competed as much as I have. I think the pressure negatively impacted her. It helped me win because she made mistakes I wasn’t expecting. I went into the tournament with no expectations so I didn’t feel any of that pressure.” 

Bourbeau got her start playing pool at the age of 16, getting into it at the now-defunct County Billiards in Turners Falls under the tutelage of local pool king Al Holmes.

“He asked if he could coach me,” Bourbeau said. “He told me he wouldn’t waste his time unless I kept playing. There was a three- or four-year timespan where I had him teaching me strategy, which I needed. I didn’t really need to be taught stroke or technique or anything like that, I was just a natural with that.” 

Bourbeau qualified for the Amateur Championship in Connecticut, where she was the winner of a 30-person field. She’s won all five qualifiers she’s competed in, and last month marked her sixth trip to the Amateur Championship, as she automatically qualified for the 2016 tournament after winning the 2015 title. 

What keeps bringing her back is the continued will to win.

“I love competition,” Bourbeau said. “I’m very competitive. Competition is all about winning and winning feels good. I found something I’m good at and won at when I was a teenager. The more I played, the better I got. Now I don’t play a whole lot. I walked into this tournament with nothing to lose. I had no hopes of winning because I hadn’t even touched a nine-foot table in over three months. I really don’t play that much.” 

By winning the tournament, Bourbeau was awarded an all-expense paid trip to a professional event next year, and they’ll also pay for her to come back and defend the title next year. 

“Winning this opens opportunities for invites or sponsorships,” Bourbeau said. “It’s an expensive thing if you aren’t getting stuff paid for between entry fees and travel.”

She plans to take her time before picking which pro event she’ll compete in. She hopes that if she can pick the right one and does well at it, it will lead to more opportunities as she continues to build her resume in the sport. 


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